Weekly Political Roundup

Flags

  • Barack Obama’s presidential campaign this week responded in writing to questions submitted by Window Media, parent company of the Washington Blade and other LGBT newspapers.
  • Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin spoke with ABC’s Charlie Gibson last night. Democrats chastised her for not knowing what the “Bush Doctrine” is. (Hint: it’s driven our country’s foreign policy for seven years.) Republicans say most people in the federal government wouldn’t know it, either. (Really? What kind of a circus are they running there? Besides, there’s a difference between most people and the potential leader of our country.)
  • Timothy at Box Turtle Bulletin offers an important reminder of why each of the three states facing anti-marriage equality ballots this November is important.
  • A group of Republicans in California has launched an effort to defeat Prop. 8, the measure that would ban marriage for same-sex couples. (Thanks, PageOneQ.)
  • A Monroe Circuit Court judge in Florida ruled that the state’s 31-year-old ban on adoption by gay men and lesbians is unconstitutional. The judgment will allow a gay Key West foster parent to adopt a teenage boy he has raised since 2001, an action deemed in the boy’s “best interest. The case could still face challenge.
  • Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he won’t actively support a state constitutional amendment to ban marriage of same-sex couples.
  • The Broward School Board in Florida voted unanimously to oppose the same marriage ban.
  • Lawyers for U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals to reject his conviction for disorderly conduct from a sex sting in an airport bathroom. Craig wants the court to withdraw his guilty plea. A county judge already has rejected the request.
  • The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, rejected a petition effort that would have forced a referendum on a law banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity. This means that a Montgomery County law banning such discrimination is now in effect.
  • The New York arm of the AFL-CIO unanimously passed three resolutions calling on the state Legislature to support marriage equality for same-sex couples, ban discrimination against the transgender community, and provide a mechanism to end bullying and harassment of LGBT youth in public schools.
  • Only 33 couples have taken advantage of New York’s extension of health insurance benefits to same-sex partners since May 1, 2007, says the state Department of Civil Service. LGBT activists said this debunks the argument that taxpayers shouldn’t fund benefits for same-sex couples because New York doesn’t allow for same-sex marriages.

Around the world:

  • Cayman Islands lawmakers voted in favor of a ban on marriage of same-sex couples. A formal third and final vote is expected sometime this week. Darn. There go my plans for an offshore fund.
  • The president of Malawi has given approval for the Malawi Gay Rights Movement to make its official launch, even though the country’s laws still prescribe hard labor as a punishment for homosexuality.
  • Angela Eagle, a U.K.’s junior Treasury minister and the country’s only out lesbian MP, will enter into a civil partnership with her partner, engineer Maria Exall.